NaPoWriMo #5 - Photograph


How did that photograph

Reach through my screen and shake me


Into tears?

Why this one image?

Sepia toned

Hand-pulled print

Pointing always to its maker

Who laboured over details for a year

This perfect balance of shadow and shine

Every mark a witness to some moment

Made sacred through attention

The moment is this;

Two hewn limbs of some former tree

Hollowed out by air and ants

Arranged in perfect parallel just right of centre

Lain with the care afforded the corpses of the fallen

These gaunt planks bisect the frame

From top to bottom

Pulling our eyes from the barren rock and sand

These branches lay dead to time

Waiting with eternal patience for the day

One will pass with eyes to see

That one – that artist – will bend down and straighten

These logs (they were just askew when he found them)

He will kick away the broken husk of cactus crowding the lower left of his viewfinder

He will wait for the shadow-casting cloud to pass

And only then click the shutter

It was really as we see it


He will tinker on his laptop until the real becomes the hyperreal

Then, to choose the paper

To pull one print and then another until the blacks are black and whites are white and image has aligned with glorified memory

A transfiguration

So that I can remember what beauty is

And why it matters

And that these thirsty limbs may lie there still

And feel glory pull the water from my eyes